A cosmetic surgery industry in crisis
Cosmetic Surgery, once the preserve of Hollywood Celebrities and New York Socialites, is fast becoming a staple of the UK beauty regimen. However, with increasing demand for ever more complex surgical procedures, the risk of complications has never been higher.
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of invasive cosmetic procedures in the UK has risen a staggering 12.6% to 51,140. This isn’t including the tens of thousands of non-invasive procedures ranging from laser hair removal to cosmetic fillers.
Woman still make up over 90% of patients, with breast augmentation, eyelid surgery and facelifts the most popular procedures. However, men are starting to buck this trend, with male breast reduction and facial procedures increasingly seen as mainstream. This beauty obsession and overcoming previous stigmas means the value of the UK cosmetic surgery industry is projected to eclipse £900 million by 2018.
Regulators have begun to take notice. New guidelines from the 1st June 2016 will see tougher clinical standards imposed on those practicing cosmetic surgery. Whether it is gaining a patient’s informed consent or giving appropriate postoperative care, patients will now be able to expect a higher level of service from their practitioners. There are also calls to publish ratings of cosmetic surgeries online to allow prospective patients to review the surgeries’ past performances.
However, there remain some troubling trends in the industry that have seen the number of claims against cosmetic surgeries balloon in recent years. Often this simply relates to a lack of training. Unscrupulous practitioners are advertising themselves as experts in a particular field without any additional training beyond basic medical qualifications. As such, complex surgeries are being performed by doctors with little to no prior training or experience in that particular procedure.
This lack of training is especially pronounced in the area of non-surgical treatments where until recently there has been a striking lack of regulatory oversight. Almost anyone could begin administering dangerous botox injections or dermal fillers, whether this be in a massage parlour or hair salon. However, following a damning 2013 report on the cosmetic industry by Sir Bruce Keogh, there has been more scrutiny on these pop-up clinics, with calls for individuals to take vigorous qualifications in order to perform invasive cosmetic procedures.
A lack of training offers a doctor no defence in court. The standard of care that a patient is entitled to expect will depend on the treatment they agree to and not the doctor’s actual qualifications. For instance, suppose a surgeon with no more than general medical qualifications tells a patient they are an expert in the area of complex septorhinoplasty surgery. They then perform this procedure and unfortunately the patient suffers numerous complications. That surgeon cannot claim that they were not sufficiently skilled for the complexities of that surgery and that another surgeon of similar competence would have done the same. They will be held to the higher professed standard they claimed to originally have and will have needed to perform as a highly skilled surgeon would to avoid liability for negligence. Acting as a normal surgeon would, with their level of skill, is no defence. Potentially remove this to:
The Specter Partnership deal with numerous types of negligent cosmetic surgery claims. For example we have dealt with claims whereby women have not had the appropriate aftercare following Breast Augmentation. Some of our clients have suffered from various complications including: infections causing wound breakdown and poor scarring; implants becoming visible through the skin and a reduction or loss of nipple sensation.
Following these complications, client’s have been inappropriately and negligently managed. Furthermore, we have had rhinoplasty claims (nose shaping claims) where surgeons have poorly performed using an incorrect technique (open instead of closed techniques for example) or failed to provide adequate aftercare following infection or bleed. We have also had otoplasty claims, whereby surgeons have negligently and incorrectly re-shaped the ear.
The Specter Partnership Solicitors is a national law firm with over 25 years experience in litigation. With offices in both London and the North West, we are well placed to manage cases across the UK. Not only that, we have both male and female solicitors and one solicitor with a medically qualified background. This gives us an advantage over some other firms as it allows us to quickly and effectively assess whether treatment is both medically and legally suspect. We have a vast experience dealing with a large variety of claim types, including amongst others:
- Breast Augmentation Claims
- Laser Hair Removal Claims
- Dermal Filler Claims
- Rhinoplasty Claims
- Facelift Claims
- Tummy Tuck Claims
- Laser Eye Surgery Claims
Be under no illusions, bringing a medical negligence claim is often a long, drawn out process. Defendant solicitors, third party insurers and even the courts are often slow and uncooperative in dealing with claims. However, our dedicated team have years of experience leading clients through their claim and are always available to listen to any concerns.
Call the number above today or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to a member of our team of experts.